Highland Park, IL, June 10, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- Planning a wedding calls for advance preparations with a photographer too, ensuring you'll capture the elation, emotions and spark of your special day.
Pre-wedding consultations and hiring a photographer should occur as soon as possible after your wedding date is set, ideally a year ahead.
Nothing matches high quality still photography in conveying a mood, stealing a close-up glimpse of a tender moment or evoking warm feelings years from now.
Your top choice for a photographer also could be one who is very popular with other couples. Be certain the best available photographer is available for your wedding, especially if your chosen date is during the warmer months.
Here's how to ensure that “hire the photographer” are three worry-free words on your to-do list.
Know your budget.
It's unwise to shop for a photographer using price alone. Share your price range with several studios. Every wedding is different. Inquire about additional charges you may incur such as travel and sales taxes. Contracts should explain deposits and payment due dates. Ask to see a sample contract.
A photographer who will customize your options is preferable, ensuring you will get exactly what you want. Don't agree to pay for packages you don't need.
Learn each photographer's style.
Some professionals follow tradition. Others are more “photojournalistic.” This means they observe your wedding, get a feel for the environment, see events as they are about to happen and then capture them creatively.
Noted Chicago wedding photographer Jennifer Mordini believes it's important for her and her camera “to remain in the shadows, interfering very little, then capture the realness of the moment. I want my close-ups to paint natural human emotions.”
Mordini, who studied under renowned wedding photographer Denis Reggie of Atlanta, says more than 90 percent of her completed wedding day assignments “don't show traditional structured groupings. Rather, most images reflect moment to moment spontaneity and the joy and promise of the day itself.”
Review portfolios and more.
When looking at portfolios of past work, check for superior lighting decisions. An ability to produce outstanding results with natural lighting is crucial.
You can detect overuse of flash by spotting dark shadows behind or next to faces, reflections off of foreheads or cheeks and flattened faces.
A quality portfolio should include subjects shown in mixed sizes including distant, medium and close-up pictures. Applying some flair with lighting and posing, good photographers can create visual interest even with ordinary group shots.
Check the work each has done at a single wedding from start to finish, not just pre-selected highlights from a dozen different weddings. Go online and examine two contrasting weddings photographed by your top choice.
Confirm your actual photographer.
Ask whether the portfolio is the sole work of the owner-operator. Mordini says a portfolio can deceive and sometimes contain compilations from different photographers or even their assistants.
Learn if the portfolio producer will be your photographer. Get the confirmation in writing. Substituting an assistant on your wedding day without your prior approval is unacceptable unless there's an emergency. This guarantee is important. Check the number of weddings your chosen photographer covers annually.
Inquire about add-on fees for creating a website which contains all images. Obtaining the actual digital files from a professional is negotiable.
Introduce your planner and photographer.
If there's a wedding planner, your photographer will want to talk with them to learn the basic plan and each highlighted moment.
Schedule a one-hour planning meeting between your planner and photographer two to four weeks before the wedding, then cover every item.
“Wedding planners are wonderful and I love working with them,” Mordini adds. “But if you choose to forgo one, your photographer can help organize the choreography of your day, making each guest smile.”
Ask about new ideas.
Creativity is limited only by your photographer's imagination. Pre-wedding hours and other times during your day contain countless special moments. These wedding memories can be captured masterfully in ways your grandmother never dreamed of for hers. Dig deeper. Learn newer techniques of your photographer.
Know the flow of your photographer's day.
Astute photographers arrive at least 60 minutes before their scheduled time. Many do not include this hour in their fee. Why? They are paid to use their imagination, perform well and hopefully earn references useful with future customers. They'll use the extra time to unload equipment, walk through the environment and begin capturing early events before you've even changed into your wedding gown.
“Sometimes brides sense a sweet rapport with certain photographers and hire them as if they are a desired guest to the wedding,” Mordini adds.
Confirm delivery needs up front.
Designing your wedding album can take up to four weeks. Once approved, expect a final album in two to three months which is the time required by third parties to print and bind albums.
Your wedding will be filled with wonderful mental images lasting a lifetime. High quality, well-planned photography will preserve those cherished memories for you and future generations to enjoy.